So I’ve turned 29 today. Hooray! I’m old. I’ll make that post when I’m 30, because that’ll definitely be my reaction when that happens. This year, I’m having more fun with it and since my birthday this year has fallen on a Sunday, it feels like the best possible option to put this into a Top 10! So here’s my Top 10 memories that I have from the various birthdays I’ve had in my life:
#10 – In-House Hockey
I’m Canadian, so naturally hockey runs through our veins. I think it’s actually against the law and a deportable offense to not like hockey here…
Anyways! The old house I used to live in had a long hallway-like room in between the living room and the back porch. It was usually the place me and my younger brother would play in, usually tossing a ball around and such. So on my birthday after me constantly talking about playing mini-sticks with kids at school, my folks saw an opening and got me two plastic hockey nets and mini-sticks. Now me and my brother had an awesome place to play hockey. And we did, almost every day.
#9 – Somehow Not Dying of Exhaustion at Chuck E. Cheese’s
There was one place that we as kids all wanted to go to, especially for birthday parties: Chuck E-motherfucking-Cheese’s! It’s a place that I’d always missed. So when I finally got the chance to go for one of my birthday parties, I was in. I don’t think I could run that much in my lifetime than I did that day. The amount of running, climbing, crawling, I’d probably have a heart attack today if I did that. Hell, I remember working a midnight shift at McDonalds and a couple of us on our lunch break tried to go through it and we were dead tired after one run through. But yeah, I finally got to play to my heart’s content at Chuck E. Cheese’s and holy shit was it fun!
#8 – Motherfucking S’mores Cake!!!
I’ve had some great birthday cakes, I’ve also had some bad ones. I remember my folks getting me a black forest cake, thinking it was my favourite (it’s my least favourite) and that was fun. But a few years ago, I got full freedom of picking out a cake from Marble Slab Creamery, an awesome ice cream shop. I could’ve gone with the usual stuff, strawberry shortcake, chocolate, all that jazz…but instead I tried something a little more interesting: they had a S’mores cake. An ice cakes laced in whipped marshmallow and chocolate sauce, topped with graham crackers and more marshmallows. It’s not the best birthday cake I’ve ever had, it’s the #2, but I was so proud of myself for picking out what at the time was easily my favourite cake.
#7 – “Man…I used to have girl-friends!”
It’s funny looking back on my life and laughing at some of the things I did and saw back then. One of the things that I always laugh at is how one year, I think I would’ve been either 8 or 9, I had a birthday party at my house, pretty normal, right? Except this young boy had five friends over to celebrate…and four of them were female. It’s so funny thinking back then that hanging out with girls was so normal, you weren’t worried about cooties, puberty hadn’t hit yet, girls were just…people. Not these scary creatures you were afraid to talk to at the risk of getting kicked in the balls or smacked. Most of my parties were an all-male crowd, but this one specific year was an anomaly and it was so much fun, we played tons of board games, watched movies, it was a fun time!
#6 – New House, Old Friends
At the age of 14, it was a big year. I had moved away from the small village town and into a much bigger town. The new school had 4-5 classes for each grade compared to 1-2 at my last school, there was a flood of new people I was being introduced to, just so much had changed. And with such a big change, there comes a lot of reminiscence, you really miss the things you used to have. So when my birthday came up, I made the ultimate attempt, I tried to get a few of my best friends to come down. It wasn’t the longest drive, at most a half-hour for them. Only two came forward, but I would’ve taken just one. My two best friends came and the flood of memories pouring back it was so amazing. For years after that, I rarely saw them again, but for that moment in time, it was such a fantastic moment for me, emotionally
#5 – Every Single Playdium Trip
Most years after 14, every party went to the same place, the Playdium, a massive arcade. There were go-karts, rock climbing and other stuff, but it was February so outdoor stuff wasn’t exactly available. They were smart to at least make the batting cages indoors though, so that was awesome. Every year when I went there, it was always so much goddamn fun, playing endless shooting games, racing in the Daytona USA car that moved with you, even the bicycle racing game that tired my ass out was so much fun. Every year I went there for like five, six years straight and I never regretted it.
#4 – Tickets To My Favourite Concert Ever
My girlfriend of nearly 10 years now isn’t the best at hiding presents, whether it’s her ideas or the actual present itself. Last year in particular, she did the most horrendous job. She got me tickets to a concert in the summer, but the problem was she couldn’t decide what seats to pick. So she pulled me aside and asked me to pick them. SURPRISE!!! This was weeks before my birthday by the way.
All that aside though, this show was the best concert I’ve ever been to. I’ve been to Iron Maiden, Reel Big Fish, Dream Theater, amazing acts, but this show had three acts that I was blown away by. Saint Asonia, Alter Bridge and Breaking Benjamin. All three sets were fantastic and didn’t stop, to the point I lost my voice singing so much. I’d never been so happy at a show ever, sure the present was given to me months beforehand, but what a birthday present it was.
#3 – Finding Out How Much I Like Lacrosse
I’ve seen plenty of sporting events in my life. I’ve been to many hockey games, baseball games, a couple basketball games, a bunch of stock car races, hell I even went to a golf tournament once and holy shit was that boring! But one birthday I got to see a sport live I hadn’t seen before, lacrosse. I’d watched a bunch of games on TV and took a real interest in it and my parents noticed that. So we got tickets to a NLL game and holy shit was that fun! For a long time that game was one of the best things I’d ever seen live, it was an action-packed game, it was not at all boring to watch live, even though you don’t have the liberty of close-ups and better views like you would on TV. Unfortunately, the sport really lost viewership and it’s so hard to find it on TV, which is a real same because it’s a fun sport to watch.
#2 – “I’M GONNA SEE KANE!!!”
I still remember exactly how it happened. I should’ve sensed something weird when we took two cars just to go to Wendy’s for dinner. After that, my dad put me in his car and we started driving off…heading in the opposite direction of home. He then handed me and envelope, saying “Happy Birthday”. I opened it up and found two tickets to a WWE (WWF at the time) house show. This was just months after Kane had debuted, a character that for whatever reason (I’m sure it was the pyro) I was so into. I saw the tickets, freaked out just on the idea of going to see wrestling and then the realization of who’d be on the card, I didn’t go nuts cause Stone Cold Steve Austin was on the card or anyone big like that, I screamed “I’M GONNA SEE KANE!!!”. And that show was so much fun to watch, the last wrestling show I saw for a long time as the coming 2000s really turned me off of wrestling for a while.
#1 – My First Guitar
Last week you got my Top 10 songs I enjoy playing on my guitar. My very first guitar, the instrument that started it all, my love for music, the years of musicianship I’ve worked on since the age of 13, it was a birthday present. An acoustic guitar and music lessons, that was my 13th birthday present. I’d mentioned plenty of times wanting to learn guitar, hell I broke a string on my dad’s old guitar trying to play it. I’m sure my folks thought it was something I’d do for a little and get bored of, but that was definitely not the case. Now 16 years to the day later, I’m still playing and other than not being in a band right now, I’ve never played more than now. Music is such a major part of my life, it’s where I go to relax, to get psyched up, to deal with any level of emotions I’m experiencing, it’s always been there. And being given the chance to generate the ability to play music, that will remain the best birthday present I ever got and kickstarted more awesome moments in my life than anything else.
Thanks for checking out this week’s list, hope you enjoyed it! What are your favourite memories and birthday presents you got? Put ’em in the comments below!